Consulting and leading in organisations: psychodynamic and systemic approaches (ED10, online)

Understand organisational systems and acquire the skills to work more effectively online

Our work roles and professional experiences are increasingly networked, geographically dispersed, and environmentally conscious. It seems inevitable that, one way or another, a lot more of our work and working relationships will take place online.   

This two-year, online course will help you develop a ‘consultative stance’ as a leader, consultant or manager in this context – offering the opportunity to study live what is required and what emerges when working in the mixed economies of face to face and online work relations. The contemporary online medium of the course will be a focus of study.

This course is also delivered as a face-to-face version. The face-to-face and online versions of the course are managed and taught as a single, integrated programme.

The deadline for applications to this course is provisionally set for Wednesday 31 July 2024. However, we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible, as spaces are limited and can be competitive.

Please note: you may see the ED10 course also referred to as SCMATP001O in communications from our application system.

About this course

This course combines experiential learning with the study of psychoanalytic and systemic theory in relation to organisations, bringing into view the complex emotional lives of contemporary organisations. You will learn how to track the flow of pressure around organisational systems, noting how pressure may move up and down hierarchies, or flow out into certain departments, roles or professions, or into ‘troublesome individuals’.

Theory seminars and webinars will introduce you to key concepts such as the individual unconscious, the group unconscious and the institutional unconscious. Contemporary papers and case studies will bring theory to life, exploring issues such as authority and power, organisational change and the politics of difference.

Race, intersectionality and difference are approached using a theoretical, individual and organisational lens, in order to explore how they impact organisational dynamics, and the capacity of leaders, managers and consultants to take up their roles.

A range of conceptual tools will develop your capacity to think critically and systemically about organisations. You will learn to map organisational systems and understand the effects of organisational structure on organisational dynamics and vice versa. You will be encouraged to think creatively ‘across the boundary’ between the conscious and unconscious aspects of organisational life, including those of the organisational system in which the course takes place.

In the first year of the course, you will observe an organisation which will provide you with an invaluable opportunity to watch a group functioning when it is engaged in its usual task.

In your second year, you will undertake a supervised consultancy in small supervision groups. You will also be expected to organise yourselves to plan and staff a consultancy intervention for year one students. The focus is not only on the success or failure of the intervention but on the opportunity provided for learning about group processes that emerge when engaging with a client group.

Over the two years, you will participate in experiential groups, the aim of which is to learn how to observe the functioning of a group and to understand the dynamics which influence it, while also participating in the group. Experiential groups allow for the study of issues such as leadership, followership, rivalry, boundaries, group defences and cultural and role differences.

Group relations conference

Students choosing this online pathway to achieve their master’s must attend a group relations conference, preferably in person – either joining other students for the discovering leadership conference at the Tavistock Centre in London, or choosing a group relations conference to attend in their own country or elsewhere. A list of recognised conferences will be provided.

Who is this course for?

This course is for you if you are a manager, leader, consultant or coach who wants to gain insight into the unconscious processes that affect organisational systems.

This online version of the course will have a focus on virtual teams and mixed virtual and co-located in-person teams. We will examine if the unconscious at work prevails whether the work takes place in real or virtual rooms, or both.

Course details

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you:

  • have a minimum of three years’ experience in your chosen profession
  • have experience of direct involvement in the management, training or development of other professional workers, or engagement in consultative work for specific organisations
  • have a first degree or equivalent, and/or professional experience commensurate with that qualification
  • are comfortable in working and studying online and have access to a good internet connection

£7,870 per year (2024/25)

There are no international fees as this course is delivered online.

You will be charged course fees for each year of your course. If your course is longer than one year, the fees that you will be charged after the first year will be subject to an annual inflationary increase. This will either be an increase of 3% or the Consumer Price Inflation as on 1 September of that year – whichever is the greater. At its discretion, the Trust may determine a figure between these two rates. Please refer to our Student Fees & Refund Policy for further information.

Financial support may be available to help you fund your studies at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.


Over the two years of the master’s, assessment will be through four 3,000 word essays (two each year), two 2,000 essays (one each year) plus a dissertation of 14,000 words completed during the summer following year two.

There is also an element of continuous assessment provided by tutors and supervisors in the ‘Consulting and leading in practice’ module of the course, worth 50% of assessment for that module.


  • The course will take place across 11 Friday and Saturday teaching blocks (see block dates in table below) and on prescheduled Wednesday evenings (31 in year one, 16 in year two)
  • There will be three 75 – 90 minute seminars of group work on each day of each block, with generous breaks provided
  • Friday sessions will run from 11.30am to 5.00pm, UK time
  • Saturday sessions will run from 11.00am to 4.30pm, UK time
  • Wednesdays sessions run from 6.00pm to 7.30pm, UK time  

Within the prescheduled Wednesday evenings, seven are dedicated to student-led webinars, attended by both D10 (face-to-face) and ED10 (online) student cohorts. Year one webinar dates are listed below, when the webinars will run from 6.30pm to 7.30pm, UK time. There will be a further four webinars in year two, which will run from 7.40pm to 8.40pm, UK time.

In year one, there will also be three online seminars for the observation module – to be scheduled by the tutor with the seminar group between January and April.  In this module, students will find and conduct an in-person organisational observation, made up of 10 one-hour observations in their local area. 

Year one students are required to attend an in-person Group Relations Conference at the Tavistock Clinic, from 1 – 4 September 2025. Please note that this involves longer days, usually 09.00am – 7.00pm.

In year two, students negotiate and conduct an in-person organisational consultancy in their local area. Supervision will take place during teaching blocks, with an additional 11 mid-block supervision seminars scheduled by supervisors between January and June in the second year, at times which best suit individual supervision groups.

Autumn 2024Block 14 and 5 October 2024
Autumn 2024Block 225 and 26 October 2024
Autumn 2024Block 315 and 16 November 2024
Autumn 2024Block 413 and 14 December 2024
Winter 2025Block 510 and 11 January 2025
Winter 2025Block 67 and 8 February 2025
Winter 2025Block 77 and 8 March 2025
Spring 2025Block 84 and 5 April 2025
Spring 2025Block 99 and 10 May 2025
Spring 2025Block 106 and 7 June 2025
Spring 2025Block 1127 June and 28 June 2025
Student-led webinars:
  • Wednesday 16 October 2024
  • Wednesday 6 November 2024
  • Wednesday 4 December 2024
  • Wednesday 29 January 2025
  • Wednesday 26 February 2025
  • Wednesday 30 April 2025
  • Wednesday 28 May 2025

Please note: these webinar dates could be subject to change.

Graduates of this course have:

  • improved and developed their consultancy practice
  • developed internal consultant roles
  • taken up senior management and executive leadership roles
  • become self-employed
  • created a strong professional network and community of practice
  • become ambassadors of the Tavistock approach in consultancy and the organisation

Why study with us?

This course will give you a better understanding of yourself in a working context and a greater capacity to understand group processes that create functioning or dysfunctional organisations and teams.

It will enhance your capacity for appropriate task related leadership and develop your ability to act effectively as a consultant, manager or leader in response to organisational issues.


“I decided to study at the Tavistock and Portman because it has been teaching about groups and organisations for a long time, and has a good reputation in this area.u003cbr /u003eu003cbr /u003eSince I’ve been on the course, I’m more able to understand the emotions I’m experiencing, what might lie behind them and make sense of what’s happening in the teams I’ve been working in.”
“I decided to study at the Tavistock and Portman as I was keen to undertake study in organisational dynamics from an interpersonal and systemic perspective. Having attended CPD courses here, I felt that this would be a positive place to study; the course also came recommended to me. ”

Course facilitators

Validations and accreditations

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This course is validated by the University of Essex.

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